Dr Marianna Dudley
BA(Warw.), MA(Bristol), PHD(Bristol)
Senior Lecturer in Environmental HumantiiesDepartment of History (Historical Studies)
I am an environmental historian of modern Britain. My work explores environmental change and its impacts on communities, places, and politics. My current research examines wind and wave power, and the rise of renewable energy technologies more broadly, in the twentieth century. I approach this topic from an environmental history perspective, wondering whether winds and waves can be forces of history as well as of nature. My article ‘Limits of Power: Wind Energy, Orkney and the post-war British state’ shows that there was state interest in wind energy immediately after the Second World War, when it was seen to be a solution for connecting remote communities to electricity in the new welfare state. My latest article, ''When's a Gale a Gale?' Understanding Wind as an Energetic Force in Mid-Twentieth Century Britain' identifies how the development of wind turbine technology was a generative process, feeding not just into the national grid but into local identities and notions of place.
I am also interested in water as a site, agent and archive of history. Work on rivers and their inhabitants, including the surfers of the Severn Bore, explores the interconnected flows of identity, memory, and place in watery settings.
The subject which started me down an academic career path was the rise of environmentalism within the British military. I was doctoral student on the ‘Militarized Landscapes in Britain, France and US’ project and examined five British training areas in the south west and Wales. My thesis identified the rise of military environmentalism as a land management practice developed by the Ministry of Defence. This work was published as a book, An Environmental History of the UK Defence Estate, 1945-present in 2012.
From 2018-2021 I co-directed the University of Bristol Centre for Environmental Humanities.
From 2021 - 2023 I am Vice-President of the European Society for Environmental History.
I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
I teach a range of units in the Department of History at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including:
The Age of the Human
Environment and History
Histories of Extreme Environments
The Modern World
War and Society
Wild Things: Humans and Other Animals in the Modern World
Austin Read (PhD, Geography), 'Decolonising Environmental Politics: the Atlantic Salmon as a Boundary Object' (co-supervised with Naomi Millner and Mark Jackson).
Rebecca Tyson (PhD, History), 'Geographies of the Norman Conquest: A new environmental history of cross-Channel interactions in the eleventh century’ (co-supervised with Ben Pohl)
Susanna Gough (MPhil, History) (co-supervised with Peter Coates)
Ed Wightman (Cabot MRes, History), (co-supervised with Andy Flack)
I have also co-supervised MPhil and DPhil students working on the history of whale strandings in Europe and the history of tidal technology in the Severn Estuary. I welcome postgraduate research proposals on the environmental history of modern Britain, including (but certainly not limited to) matters of energy and infrastructure, rivers, and military environments.
DescriptionThere exists a deep and complex relationship between human health and the environment. In light
of climate change and other environmental issues, securing health is one of the major challenges
01/09/2019 to 01/09/2021
DescriptionDrylands: too often seen as wasteland, desolate, devoid of life. There might not be much water, but the soils of drylands are thriving with life, much of it invisible to…
01/01/2018 to 28/02/2018
DescriptionBiosphere IV is an evolving performative exploration of living with the uncertainty of climate change. It is inspired by the Biosphere II experiment (Arizona desert, 1990s), in which humans lived…
19/01/2017 to 31/07/2017
DescriptionThe following research questions are central to our project:
• How has the cultural invisibility of the sea resulted in its overexploitation and pollution, and in inadequate regulatory standards? How might this…
Managing organisational unit
19/01/2017 to 31/07/2017
DescriptionArts & Humanities researcher-in-residence experimental project with Stourhead (National Trust) and Sherborne (National Trust)
02/01/2017 to 31/07/2017
History Workshop Journal
Twentieth Century British History
Using Primary Sources
- Chapter in a book